31 August 2010

Hold - Best News Yet

Sad day! The vacation is over and we are back in Provo. Not that we don't love to be back in Utah. We really missed our friends and family here and our little apartment. But we also miss being on vacation, in sunny California, surrounded by Chandlers. I miss my cute nefews and neices (too bad we couldn't have caught the Cavanaughs while we were down there too)! There are so many fun stories I want to share from our vacation in Sacramento. I even have pictures to boot! I just haven't had a second to sit at my new mac and type out posts. I thought I would at least get this medical school update to everyone while I'm taking a break from training my BYU replacements.

We returned home Sunday evening and a large pile of mail awaited us. There were some bill statements that we had taken care of, a package from my momma for Scott, and a letter from Midwestern University in Arizona addressed to Scott. I handed it to Scott, instead of opening it myself, and was dissapointed to see that it was such a thinly filled envelope.

It read:

The admissions committee for the American College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) has put your application for the Class of 2010 on hold pending possible future interview invitation.

Woohoo! On HOLD! Never gotten that before in this two-year med school apps process. I am so excited for Scott to have even this amount of encouragement. I'm feeling great things will come! Great job, hon!

25 August 2010

Read This Book, Y'all

I brought two books with me on vacation, knowing that I would have some time to read at Prineville while my husband was playing on the water and maybe a little time to read by the pool at my in-laws. My mother-in-law found the first book that I brought to finish, Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. She commented to me that she had read it and then handed me a whole stack of books she recommended I read including The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.

I finished Sarah's Key, historical fiction based on the Vel d'Hiv (Nazi occupation of Paris), last week while Scott was doing all his preparations for the "Fantasy Football Draft." I feel like I should write a blog for Fantasty Sports widows, but that's another story. When I finished that book, I picked up The Help anxious to read about women in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi.

You really should pick this book up. The book goes through the perspectives of three different women in Jackson, two black maids and a white woman who was raised by her maid. At first I found it difficult to jump from each perspective, because the author has a knack for leaving you hanging at the best part before switching to the next story. But all perspectives tie in so well that I couldn't put the book down for two days. The author also does a great job writing the Southern drawl. She should! She grew up with a maid herself in Mississippi.

If you're the type to read the last chapter first, jump to her section called Too Little, Too Late, which recounts her own experiences in Mississippi and racial segregation. She says in this section:

"... I don't presume to think that I know what it really felt like to be a black woman in Mississippi, especially in the 1960s. I don't think it is something any white woman on the other end of a black woman's paycheck could ever truly understand. But trying to understand is vital to our humanity. In The Help there is one line that I truly prize:

'Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize. We are just two people. Not that much seperates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.'"

Like I said... couldn't put the book down, you'll love it! Thanks, Martie for the read!

19 August 2010

Elk Grove - The Place to Meet Your Twin

Scott and I are sitting at his dad's Allstate office. He has his feet up on the chair, watching me work through Big Curt's customer files. Since Curtis' accident in May, he has had little time in the office to bring home the bacon. We know how much I love bacon, so Scott and I decided that part of our vacation in Sacramento would be helping Big Curt with marketing and sales.

This morning Scott went out door-to-door for Renter's Insurance. In the mean time I've been plowing through customer files trying to put together a PR letter for Curt to send out about his accident. When Scott returned he plopped down in front of me and we preceded to have this conversation.

Me: What are the odds that a husband and wife would have the same name and same spelling? (An anomaly I found in the customer files)
Scott: Well what is the name?
Me: Ranjit.
Scott: You never know. It could happen.
Me: Well I guess, like Jordan and Jordan could marry or Erin and Aaron. But Ranjit and Ranjit? I'm thinkin' that might just be someone filling out their insurance form incorrectly.
Scott: With SIX billion people in the world, it's totally possible for two Ranjits to find each other! They might be Indian. In Indian cultures, the wife adopts the husbands name.
Me: Uh, I don't think so.
Scott: Sure they do. Hey!We should start a business where we work together and sit across from each other and throw out ideas like this.
Me: That wouldn't make any money, but it would make for a funny blog.

And this is Scott trying to make up for not ever taking pictures of me... by taking a frumpy office picture of our conversation. It's been an interesting day. Yay for vacation!

18 August 2010

Graduation Trip to Prineville Reservoir

On vacation and loving it! Thursday was graduation day and my last day of work for BYU. Since graduation was in the afternoon, BYU has all of their employees leave work at 2:00 Pm to allow graduation visitors to park on campus. So my freedom began at 2:00 Pm when we started the long drive to Prineville, Oregon where Scott's extended family gets together every year for a lake party reunion. We had so much fun, got some sun, and ate so much food! Scott is pretty exhausted after trying several times, unsuccessfully (dang!) to get up on the wake board. He was a pro water skier at the end of the weekend, though, which is quite the feat considering he had never tried before.
Scott also became a pro with the tweezers. Knowing that Scott was applying to medical school, all the little cousins would set up a clinic for him at the end of the day with some tweezers to get out their splinters. It was adorable!

I made the most of our weekend lake vacation by being lazy with my book on the shore and being behind the camera. Sorry, no pictures of me lately. However, I was convinced to go on the boat once to watch the skiing and didn't even get burned! Thank heavens for copious amounts of sunscreen.

Our view home from Prineville didn't get much more exciting that watching the back of the Chandler Honda. However, we did get a great view of Mount Shasta driving through northern California. Probably my favorite part of the drive were the hilarious billboards. One, just outside of Bend, Oregon had a Twilightesque cover picture that said, "You're not immortal. Buckle Up!" Another, just before we reached the border city of Weed, California advertised the I [Heart] Weed California Shop in 2.2 miles. Goodness GRACIOUS!

Now we are in Sacramento enjoying a couple weeks with Scott's parents. If you don't hear from me, know that we are having a fantastic time, getting some work done for Scott's dad, and eating some BEAUTIFUL food!

16 August 2010

The Impulsive Brain

My mom sent me this NPR story last week about a study done to link impulsiveness to dopamine issues. They studied several individuals having various degrees of impulsivity. And the result? The study showed that people who were more impulsive have broken dopamine switches.

That's why I can't help myself in Costco?! I think my dopamine switches breakdown when I smell food. I've just had to avoid going into Costco all together.

The NPR report says, "What happens next may come down to how impulsive you are. Impulsiveness is about more than shopping — impulsive people are vulnerable to substance abuse and some forms of mental illness."

The solution?
"'I think that there is a circuitry of self-control that's fundamental to many, many aspects of living,' agrees Edythe London, a psychiatrist at UCLA. London says that understanding the dopamine thermostat and others may eventually lead to treatments for addiction and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Those treatments might be drugs, or they might be new therapies that reinforce the thermostats and improve their performance."

An interesting read from a business or health perspective, if you get a chance.

13 August 2010

Medical School Apps Take 2 - Secondaries

This being the second (and hopefully last) time that Scott applies to medical school, we are pretty familiar with how this beginning part of the process goes. Scott submitted his primary application, this time only to Osteopathic Medical programs across the nation. There is a short wait, and then applicants hear from schools as to whether or not they meet the minimum qualifications and can submit secondary applications for further consideration.

As of August 6, Scott has heard back from six of the eight Osteopathic schools we applied to, and all of them would like him to submit secondaries! This is very exciting, compared to last year's sparse response.

Scott is writing up many essays this week and submitting with the hopes that we will move onto round three of the medical school application process.

Here's hoping for an early email/call inviting us to an interview!

In the meantime, Scott and I are officially finished at BYU! We are off on vacation to Prineville, OR and Sacramento. Time to take a break!

11 August 2010

Graduation BBQ

This last Saturday we had an opportunity to use the beautiful backyard space at our apartment. The Pickerings (our landlords) have taken years to cultivate this space with covered areas and new plants and flowers each year. It is exactly the kind of backyard room that I would like to have some day and it was perfect for a BBQ.
Nothing too formal. We really just wanted an excuse to have a party in the backyard, and the fact that Scott is graduating this week was excuse enough to celebrate. That's right, he's finally there! He will receive his degree from BYU in Exercise Science. What he will do with that degree (besides hopefully get into medical school), we have yet to discover.

Nonetheless, we invited over family and friends to have massive hamburgers and normal size hotdogs and play Battle of the Sexes. Of course, the game was Scott's idea.

It was a blast! Now someone needs to come to my house to eat all the leftover salad. Apparently we invited purely carnivores to this BBQ.

10 August 2010

You Know You're Getting Older...

... when you get angry at the youngin's cutting traffic when you've been politely in line for 30 minutes and they've been waiting for less than five.

There is some serious traffic going on through the back roads between Springville and Provo. It's the route I take every day to BYU and back home. All summer long the traffic due to construction really hasn't been that bad. And then, they decided to merge lanes BEFORE the stoplight on the way home from work.

They've been doing this for about a week now. The first time I realized they were going to make the crazy decision to merge lanes before the four-way stop, I admit that I was halfway to the light before I saw the blinking arrows and turned into the line. Since that day I have made a concentrated effort to get into the one and only line of entry early.

But not everyone is so observant. Understandably, everyone wants to get home as soon as possible. Some are willing to wait in line, not using the turning lane to cut to the front of the line.  Ooh! But today...

Ergh! This is what happened today. I got in the back of the line early, and at first I was very charitable. "Oh, did you just realize that we are all in one line? Sure you can get in front of me." "Hello, kind SUV. I will make room for you here in the back of the line." But then as I inched towards the front... or didn't move at all and waited for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, on what was supposed to be a 5 minute drive, I started to get a little frustrated.

It started with the black sedan. I could hear them approaching from behind. Yelling. I looked around to see who would be making that sort of noise in calm traffic. A girl. She was smoking while driving. She was in the lane that was supposed to be used for turning. I moved slowly as the car in front of me moved, and then all of a sudden her left side was in front of mine! She probably had one foot of wiggle room total to put it there. And then... she swore at me. Called me a name. "Really?" I had to let her through, because she was already half way. She made a sharp U turn into the suicide lane next to me. "Glad she's not in line any more."

Another black car... (what is with owners of black cars?!) "Well, Hello Jetta! You think you can just creep right in here without even a wave?" It was a pretty quick move. But he realized too late that he chose to enter the part of the line that wasn't moving, because 100 cars had passed to cut in front. So what did Jetta do? He maneuvered to the middle of both the one entry lane and the turning lane, causing both lanes to pause. "Choose ye this day which lane you will drive in, Jetta!" It didn't choose until it could tell for sure that the cars cutting in the front were actually getting in line in an appropriate time frame.

I was pretty defiant at that point. "You're gettin' close to the front now, you PROBABLY should have realized that we're not just stopped for an accident. See the orange con-struc-tion cones?"

I'm really not normally the angry sort of driver. I think it just a process with age that I try to respect the order of the universe while the young or rebellious still try to break the rules. Probably the next phase of life is when I'm patient enough to handle it. To prove my point, I did let an older woman in the line at the front. And she did wave, maybe like it was her first time through this particular construction zone and she hadn't realized. "Just because I could tell you had a perm this week."

The only way I could possibly get over this frustration, of course, is to blog about it. But wouldn't you know, I forgot my camera at home. So instead, I took this picture of Angry old me on my mac.

All better.

09 August 2010

Oh How I Missed You, Mac!

Excuse the fuzzy, sleepy picture. I was too excited to get dolled up and take out my own camera! So Scott took this picture on his cell phone.

You may recall that about a year and a half ago, my beautiful black MacBook was stolen. It was a sad day in the Chandler apartment! Luckily, renters insurance covered all of the costs for what was stolen. Since that day, I have been waiting for the right opportunity to buy myself a new iMac. This time I wanted a desktop instead of a laptop, because I love having a set workspace so much.

A year and a half later, the new iMac was released and BYU Bookstore was having a great sale on their inventory. Scott and I were coincidentally in the bookstore computer department, looking for netbooks to replace his three year old lap top. I had been waiting for a sufficient price drop and a place in our apartment to put a desk and computer. So when i saw the flier I was almost convinced to buy. We didn't have the desk space in our apartment, so I told Scott I would think it over during the weekend and would see how I felt on Monday. Scott said, "Yeah, right! We're going to walk away and in five minutes be back in the bookstore with your credit card." He was mostly right. Five minutes later, I was determined to buy the computer the next day with my checkbook.

On Friday I became the owner of a 21.5" iMac, free printer, and free iPod touch.

Burglars beware - our new apartment has a high tech security system! Don't even try!

05 August 2010

Sizable Sunflowers

Seriously! Have you EVER seen sunflowers this BIG?

Second Story Sunflowers!
On our return trip from the Pond Family Reunion and our visit to Christie and Steve in Logan, we passed by this house. It's just down the street from where we live in Springville. I am so in awe, that I had to take a picture of these stalks when I drove by for museum volunteering yesterday.

04 August 2010

See ya, J.R. and Associates

I am very sad to see my good friend and fellow BYU-Idahoian, Jason Ratliff, leave the University Career Services office. Jason has been a lifesaver in never ending staff meetings and my go-to-guy whenever I need to be caught up on the Urban dictionary. Scott is also particularly dissapointed to see his office sports fanatic leave.

So in Jason's honor, I post these pictures he had in his office of his famous encounters (just kidding, I totally photoshopped this for his farewell party):

That last one makes me laugh the hardest! Enjoy your PhD program at Bowling Green, Jason!

03 August 2010

The Curse of the Jersey

The Scared Hitless softball team, of the Sandy City Leagues, had their last game last night at 9:00 Pm. The team's record was not the best, possibly due to an unforeseen curse from their team name.

I was trying to think of other team names that might be better for next year, but Goldman Sachs or BYU names might have similar outcomes. My best idea for a next year's team name, so far, is Home Star Runners. If you replace the word Star with the symbol, I feel like the curse of Scared Hitless may be lifted?

Though there were few wins (an overstatement), you couldn't tell by watching the team. They had fun together, and they made some great plays too. I LOVED going to watch Scott play because it always felt so much like summer to be sitting on field bleachers eating cherries and talking with my bestie, Maura. I will miss Monday night softball!

02 August 2010

Custom Birthday Sets

Every morning when I get to work I take a few minutes to puruse my blog roll. I follow a variety of blogs covering food, photography, crafts, design, and of course the first ones I look for are updates on family and friends.

Today as I read my blog news, I found two giveaways for the Silhouette die cut printer (here and here). I've been paying a lot of attention to these products lately. I also went to one of my favorite blogs, Marta Writes, to hear about what she's a fan of lately. Somehow if my search and connecting to links, I stumbled across this uber cute graphic design lady, Heather. She has a etsy shop and blog. Inspiration! Not that I could ever do what she does and on that scale, but I might do things like this for my kids birthday parties. I spent all morning pining over her designs and trying to figure out how to be as cool as her.

You have to check Chickabug out!

Party themes { www.chickabug.com/themes }
Products & pricing { www.chickabug.com/chart }
BLOG! Photos, party ideas and more { www.chickabug.com/blog }

P.S. I forgot to mention that one thing I love about Chickabug blog is that she looks around etsy for things that would look great with your themed party. LOVE it!